70% of men never check their testicles, even though testicular cancer is the most common cancer amongst men aged 13-45. That’s why during Movember, the Spanish football magazine Libero is using the sport to explain how to perform a self-examination and promote early detection.
In 1991, during a match between Real Madrid and Valladolid, footballer Michel Gonzalez repeatedly squeezed Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama’s genitals as both teams waited for a corner. Libero hijacked this historic moment in football to communicate its message.
A YouTube video starring Valderrama recounts the notorious incident and goes on to explain, in three simple steps, how men can detect cancer in the testicular region. Recalling his experience in the humorous video, Valderrama can still feel the exact moment that Michel touched him and he is grateful. He would have gone to the doctor if he had felt pain, so he encourages all men to #TouchYourFootballs.
“Testicular cancer is a serious problem among men under 45, but self-examinations don´t get the attention they should. We´ve seen many football players fight against this kind of cancer and we would like to help spread the message in hopes of preventing it. Without a doubt, what happened with Valderrama is an iconic moment in Spanish football and a perfect way to explain life with football, just as our motto says: If you explain it with football, they get it,” Diego Barcala, founder of Libero Magazine.
#TouchYourFootballs is a collaboration with Lola MullenLowe, Elis, a content agency launched by former football star Juan Pablo Sorín and Los Notarios, a leading audiovisual production company in Colombia. The campaign goes live on November 15th with the help of Valderrama and several other professional players who have suffered from testicular cancer.
Executive Creative Director of the campaign Pancho Cassis told us: “Libero Magazine has been explaining life’s issues in footballing terms for years; from fun things such as dancing to more serious subjects such as testicular cancer.”
“This is a good example of how a potentially boring topic like testicular self-examination can become more relevant to someone when you explain it with football.”
“Due to many campaigns that have been made on the subject, women are more used to the idea of breast self-examination, so we think it’s very interesting to put this subject on the table in order to encourage men to do the same.”
“Who would have thought such an iconic moment in football would help to raise awareness amongst thousands of men.”
“Football is much more than just a sport, it’s a part of popular culture which we can use to raise awareness of many important subjects from an interesting perspective.”